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2. Origins: From World War II to the Cold War
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the origins of the Cold War, thinking in particular about: (i) the longer-term origins of the Cold War, including the 1917 Russian Revolution and the emergence of the US as a major industrial power by the end of WW1; (ii) anti-Communist sentiment in the US, including the involvement of US troops in the Russian Civil War and the Red Scare; (iii) the competing visions of the US and the Soviet Union of what the world should look like after WW2; (iv) Soviet interference in the national elections of Eastern Europe to ensure the establishment of pro-Soviet governments in Romania, Bulgaria and Poland; (v) the partition of the Germany and the city of Berlin between the UK, USA, France and the Soviet Union; (vi) the Iran Crisis of 1946; (vii) George Kennan’s ‘Long Telegram’ and the policy of Containment; and (viii) the National Security Act 1947.
In this course, Dr Thomas Tunstall Allcock (University of Manchester) provides an introduction to the Cold War, 1947-91, the period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc) and the United States and its allies (the Western Block). In the first module, we provide an introduction to the topic as a whole, considering how we should actually define the Cold War, and its diplomatic, economic and ideological dimensions. In the second and third modules, we think about the origins of the Cold War, before turning in the fourth module to consider the importance of the Korean War (1950-53) on the conflict. In the fifth module, we think about the domestic impact of the Cold War, before turning in the sixth module to consider how the Cold War began to incorporate tensions in Africa, Asia and South America to become an increasingly global conflict. In the seventh module, we consider the importance of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) to the development of the Cold War, before turning in the eighth module to the most important conflict of them all – Vietnam (1955-75). In the ninth module, we consider the development of the war between 1968-75, a period of easing tensions between the US and Soviet Union known as Detente, before turning in the tenth module to the ratcheting up of tensions during the presidency of Jimmy Carter (1977-81). Finally, in the eleventh module, we think about how the Cold War came to an end.
Dr Tom Tunstall Allcock is a lecturer in American history at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War, with particular interests in U.S.-Latin American relations, presidential history and diplomacy, and the cultural history of the Cold War.
Cite this Lecture
Tunstall Allcock, T. (2020, February 05). Cold War – Overview, 1945-1991 - Origins: From World War II to the Cold War [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-cold-war-1945-1991/origins-from-world-war-ii-to-the-cold-war
Tunstall Allcock, T. "Cold War – Overview, 1945-1991 – Origins: From World War II to the Cold War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Feb 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/the-cold-war-1945-1991/origins-from-world-war-ii-to-the-cold-war